After a protracted confrontation between two competing centres of power in the West and East of Libya, certain positive developments have emerged which give cause to hope that the stalled political settlement process in that country will finally get off the ground. According to media reports, on May 2, representatives of the two opposing camps Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya, and Khalifa Haftar, Commander of the Libyan National Army, had a one-on-one meeting in Abu Dhabi, the first since January 2016.
Judging by reports from different sources, the meeting resulted in fundamental agreements on a wide range of previously contentious issues in the context of implementing the political Agreement signed in Skhirat, Morocco in December 2015 on the parameters of national reconciliation, including setting up a national government and legislative bodies, and defence and law enforcement agencies. This means, in particular, amending the section of the Skhirat Agreement on the distribution of powers between the executive and legislative branches of power, including with regard to governing the united armed forces, as well as restructuring governing bodies including the Presidential Council. An understanding was reached on further steps to normalise the security situation, which presupposes, among others, the disbanding of militias and separate armed groups, and also measures to counter illegal migration.
It was agreed to establish working groups to draft an agreement to formalise the above arrangements. General presidential and parliamentary elections are to be held in the country within six months after the new agreement is signed.
There are reports that Mr Sarraj and Mr Haftar will possibly meet again as early as next week in Cairo.
Moscow welcomes the fact that the Tripoli authorities and the military-political leaders in Tobruk are ready for a constructive dialogue to find mutually acceptable solutions to the key issues of the Libyan domestic agenda – solutions that can get the country out of its protracted political crisis. We hope that the Abu Dhabi agreements will mark a turning point in the Libyan political settlement. This would meet the aspirations of the Libyan people, and also the interests of the whole region of the Middle East and North Africa.
For our part, during our contacts with the Libyan parties we will continue efforts aimed at achieving national accord and creating conditions for the sustainable development of Libya as a united, sovereign and independent nation.